words: Gearoid McDaid  photos: Conor Flanagan

Behind the scenes of the Rip Curl 
Padang Cup with G Man

Getting the call to go surf in the Rip Curl Padang Padang cup was an exciting moment for me. To be going to Bali to surf a perfect slab left with only a few guys what could be better?
The waiting period was one month, so I was going to go for the whole month to wait and hopefully score some waves around Indo.
The trip didn’t start out too great though as when I was flying to Bali the volcano there was erupting pretty heavily which meant I got stuck in Dubai with no way of knowing if flights would resume. I thoroughly thought I was going to be going back home. But in the end, it eased off, and I was on a flight from Dubai just a day later. The delay was just a taster of some of the mad things that would happen while I was there.

Looking at the long-range forecast for the month looked like back to back swells non stop. But there was one swell that stood out towards the end of the month. The contest ran on one of the first swells as they looked pretty epic and you can never be too sure of a long range next swell the guys from Rip Curl made an excellent call to run when they did. There was a lot of talk around the swell at the end of the month in that it was the most significant swell ever to come to Indo but as it was still a long way out I wasn’t really thinking about it. As the month progressed we scored some pretty sick waves. Some little slab missions and we scored pretty pumping Ulus with Josh Kerr and Jack Robinson. And a couple of sick sessions at Padang trying to hassle the crowds haha.

I woke up on the morning of the day of days to 30-foot Ulus with a couple of guys towing the mad walls.

The swell that we had been looking at for so long was arriving, and it held its size and name for being the biggest swell ever in Indo. There was lots of talk of where to go for the swell, but I wasn’t sure what to do and ended up just staying in Bali for it. I woke up on the morning of the day of days to 30-foot Ulus with a couple of guys towing the mad walls. We went and had a look at Padang but the tide was a bit high, and there were lots of wash-throughs with the odd in-between one going good. I paddled out hoping that I would get a couple in the gaps in the chaos; but as the tide dropped there were a lot of fun in-between ones. And it ended up being one of the most fun sessions I had out there. With the big wash-throughs, it meant it kept the crowd quiet, there was a couple of people out, and we were trading waves and dodging the unrideable ones. I had surfed for three hours already, and then my leash broke I tried to swim in, but a colossal wash-through came in a pushed me over to this weird slab up the top of Impossibles. I was swimming for around 40 mins before getting to the beach. Pretty wrecked but still an epic session.